Diet: how much iodine does the body need?

Diet: how much iodine does the body need?

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Optimally supply the body with iodine

Iodine is an essential trace element and an important building block for the formation of thyroid hormones. The hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyorin (T3) in turn are involved in controlling the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and regulating body temperature. In addition, the thyroid hormones influence physical and mental development, growth, performance and psyche.

This makes iodine an extremely important nutrient. But how much iodine should you take in every day? Those who do not consume enough iodine run the risk of thyroid problems. But how do you best get the trace element?

Iodine is often neglected

The body needs iodine for the function of the thyroid gland and thus the metabolism. The trace element is ingested through food - but the supply in the population is not running optimally and is even showing a declining trend in Germany, explains the Consumer Center Bavaria.

Prefer products with iodized salt

In order to get enough iodine, you should use iodized salt in the household and buy food that is made with it - this is usually the case with loosely sold bread and baked goods. In general, a closer look at the list of ingredients reveals whether a product contains iodized salt.

Good iodine suppliers

There is a lot of iodine in sea fish and seafood - one of these foods should be served on the table once a week, the consumer advocates advise. Milk and milk products are also good suppliers of the important trace element.

Recommended daily iodine intake

The recommended daily amount is around 200 micrograms for adults, and a little higher for pregnant and lactating women. According to the German Nutrition Society, children need more iodine with increasing age - from 13 years the adult dose of 200 micrograms is recommended.

The following list shows some iodine-rich foods. The information relates to 100 grams:

  • Whole milk: 5 -6 micrograms iodine,
  • Sardines: 32 micrograms iodine,
  • Salmon: 34 micrograms iodine,
  • Mackerel: 49 micrograms iodine,
  • Tuna: 50 micrograms of iodine,
  • Herring: 52 micrograms of iodine,
  • Plaice: 52 micrograms of iodine,
  • Bückling: 72 micrograms of iodine,
  • Redfish: 104.5 micrograms iodine,
  • Shrimp and crab: 130 micrograms iodine,
  • Cod: 155 micrograms iodine,
  • Haddock: 243 micrograms iodine,
  • Iodized table salt: 2000 micrograms of iodine.

(vb; source dpa / tmn)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • German Nutrition Society: Iodine (accessed: June 11, 2020),
  • Consumer advice center: Iodine supply is declining again in Germany (published: February 21, 2020),

Video: How to Get Iodine in Your Diet (June 2022).


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